Author of ‘Muchacho’ and ‘Dangerous Minds’ to present programs

JAMESTOWN – LouAnne Johnson, author of the international bestseller “Dangerous Minds” and the award-winning young adult novel Muchacho, will present two programs at Jamestown Community College’s Jamestown Campus on Feb. 12 and 13.

The programs, free and open to the public, are sponsored by JCC’s Teacher Education Club and campus life and residence life programs.

“Dangerous Minds,” based on Dr. Johnson’s autobiography, “My Posse Don’t Do Homework,” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the Student Union. The 1995 film stars Michelle Pfeiffer as Dr. Johnson, a former U.S. Navy journalist who takes a teaching position at a high school in California where most of her students were African-American and Hispanic teenagers.

She will also present “The Power of Choice,” a program on her teaching experiences, at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12 in the Student Union. A question and answer session and “The Posse Update,” about the current lives of students in Dangerous Minds, are also featured in the program.

In “The Power of Choice,” Dr. Johnson shares the philosophy and teaching techniques that have enabled her to motivate students of all ages from different cultural and economic backgrounds. She shares the lessons she learned from “unteachable students,” along with strategies for motivating reluctant learners, research on the connection between light and learning, brain hemisphere dominance, and suggestions for creating dynamic classrooms where all students feel motivated and capable of learning.

On Feb. 13, Dr. Johnson will read from Muchacho at noon in the Student Union. Muchacho is narrated by Eddie Corazon, a juvenile delinquent turned poet-philosopher. A “secret reader,” Eddie has a unique perspective on life, love, and learning that makes people laugh, cry, and think differently about the street-wise kids they meet in their own lives.

A native of Youngsville, Pa., Dr. Johnson is a former Marine Corps officer, high school teacher, and college professor. As an author, her books also include the acclaimed teacher handbook, “Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains.” She has 22 years of teaching experience, ranging from remedial reading, AP English literature, adult ESL, and effective teaching seminars for educators.

Dr. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in English education, and a doctorate in educational leadership. She maintains a monthly blog that features direct links to resources for teachers, students and parents at www.louannejohnson.com.